By Anna Quinn
For Fielding Staton, founder of Newtonoid Technologies LLC, frustration over a cracked windshield evolved into a new Internet of Things (IoT) application that can help gauge roadway health.
In 2012, Staton was driving to a jobsite when a rock flew up from the pavement and cracked his windshield. He wondered what he could do to prevent such an occurrence, and that’s when Newtonoid Technologies was born.
Staton developed the Absorbud® windshield protection system. It’s a collection of simple energy-dampening devices that attach to the inside surface of a car windshield. When debris hits the windshield, the devices are designed to absorb a portion of the impact to prevent the windshield from breaking.
Since developing the Absorbud system, Staton and his team of engineers have been developing increasingly sophisticated damping systems and devices that serve as innovative solutions to common problems experienced across a wide array of industries. One of those industries is asphalt.
The basis of Staton’s technology centers around anti-vibration technologies designed to provide stabilization and vibration reduction in systems used in industrial automation, railways, automobiles, medical devices and construction. Recently, the technology has grown to include adhesives and other carriers that include specific “smart” damping mechanisms (or particles) that can be programmed to communicate material information in addition to providing anti-vibration and controlled resonance capabilities. One specific instance includes an adhesive binder for roadways, termed a “damping adhesive.”
The damping adhesive consists of an adhesive (or binder) that has a plurality of smart nano-particles dispersed therein. The nano-particles function as sensing and control devices that can be programmed to receive information from the environment and to perform an action in response. Partnering with scientists at a prestigious midwestern university, Staton is working to develop applications for his damping adhesives that include using smart sensors and damping mechanisms to measure amplitudes and frequencies of physical vibrations within roadway systems.
Notably, incorporating the damping adhesive into asphalt binder or on asphalt as a coating, can be one step in incorporating IoT into an otherwise isolated system. The damping adhesive can provide information on roadway health and communicate with traffic signals and other systems run by a department of transportation.
Information transmitted by the specialized sensors can lead to a wealth of knowledge that can help in planning for road construction and design, as well as measure shock and vibrations within the roadways.
In addition, this technology has applications to help road owners and those working in the pavement industry address the frustration and expense involved with mitigating traffic noise and vibration. Staton’s state-of-the-art technological advancement makes it possible for those in the asphalt industry to design or use products that operate more quietly with less vibration and greater efficiency, yielding longer life for the roadways.
The impact of these innovative new technologies on the asphalt industry could be far reaching and transformative in today’s IoT world. For more information on Staton’s technology and U.S. Patent #9,759,286, please visit www.windgo.com.
Anna Quinn is a registered patent attorney with Lathrop & Gage LLP in Overland Park, Kansas. Her work includes counseling clients on various intellectual property issues including drafting and prosecuting patent applications, trademark applications, licensing patents, enforcing patents, and avoiding patent infringement. For further information, contact Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.lathropgage.com.